The Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster was first discovered in 1905 by Thomas Campbell and was later kept in the Gamalyea Institute in Moscow. In 1963-64 the Dwarf Campbells Russian was imported into the UK by Holloway College, London and the London Zoological Society in 1963.
By 1968 they were breeding successfully in captivity in the UK. The Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster was used in laboratories and in 1973 a pair were obtained from London Zoo by a member of the UK hamster fancy with a further group obtained in 1976. However, the Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster did not gain popularity as a pet until the early 1980s and at this time it became more widely available on the pet market.